Amazon faces a new bid for unions in the US

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in New York have begun building a union, six months after a similar attempt in Alabama failed, and they are already accusing the e-commerce giant of doing everything to dissuade their colleagues.

At this point in the United States, no sorting and logistics center in Amazon had succeeded in forming a consortium.

“Since we started our campaign (to collect signatures), Amazon has wasted no time implementing anti-union tactics,” the association, called the ALU, told the Amazon Workers Union on Thursday. (“Amazon Workers Union”).

“We’ve encountered the same strategies used in Bessemer, Alabama, like posters in restrooms or outside consultants, and anti-union specialists, who come into the workplace and split employees,” he said. ALU in a press release.

Last April, at the end of long months of campaigning under pressure, “No to Syndicates” largely won out at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse. Despite rallying activists and political figures to the top of the state, barely more than 2,500 employees out of the 5,900 who were called to the polls voted.

In August, a US Labor Law Agency (NLRB) official determined “Amazon had violated labor law” and recommended a new vote in Alabama, according to the RWDSU union, which organized the attempt.

Amazon did not immediately respond to an AFP request Thursday. In April, the group shrugged off accusations of intimidation, asserting that its employees “heard more anti-Amazon messages from the union, elected officials, and the media than we did.”

The ALU planned to submit its file, with 2,000 supporting signatures collected, to the NLRB on October 25. If approved, a vote will be taken for Amazon’s Staten Island (a neighborhood in New York City).

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The potential future union wants to demand, among other things, higher wages, job security, safer working conditions and more vacations.

It is led notably by Christian Smalls, a former employee of the group who was fired after he organized a demonstration at JFK8, a warehouse on Staten Island. And according to Amazon, Mr Smalls was fired for coming to the scene when he was supposed to be in quarantine after coming into contact with an infected colleague.

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